December 31, 2012
Another Christmas has come and gone at the speed of light and New Year’s Eve is upon us.
Although Christmas carries a deep symbolic meaning to me, I have never really understood or had a sense of appreciation for New Year’s Eve. It seems to be the party that concludes all other parties associated with this time of year. To tell you the truth, I think I’ve always been partied out by the time New Year’s Eve comes along.
I understand the meaning of the day to be the closure of the past year. And as with the season of spring, all new things may prosper with diligent attempts by each individual to bring forth substantive, positive changes in their own lives.
I appreciate that sentiment and have attempted to utilize the opportunity to do so in the past. However, as is the case with many, I have mostly failed to uphold those promises to myself.
This year, I’m seeing this opportunity in a different light. I’m planning to make a change that I hope will affect not only myself, but those around me as well.
Being at home over the past three months has afforded me time to watch television. I generally make time to take in the news and perhaps a show or two that really gets my attention but otherwise, I find myself out of touch with the mainstream programs that my friends discuss with wild affection.
“Honey Boo-Boo” is a show about a little girl who aspires to be a pageant queen, yet has no manners, etiquette or proper guidance from the adults (if that’s what you can call them) in her life. I attempted to put my finger on the draw of that show but instead, found myself on the edge of my seat with a deep desire to call some division of family services to intervene on this precious child’s behalf.
Next up was “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Although these youngsters are coached to be poised, their parents display inappropriate behavior and competitiveness that puts this football mom to shame. These people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on costumes, travel and coaching for their children who are inevitably rewarded with a multitude of crowns and titles. But what do those titles mean? The only thing I could find was “my kid is better than yours. Ha!” Turn the channel, please.
And then there was “Sixteen and Pregnant.” I assume that the purpose of this show is to thwart teens from becoming pregnant. That’s a great thought, but the glamorization and “star-quality” that the producers ultimately bestow upon these girls certainly cannot act as a deterrent. It appeared as though the young ladies were fighting for camera time based on their ability to create more drama for themselves. Next!
“Jersey Shore.” What is the appeal here? Several 20ish youngsters partying, sleeping with each other and people they don’t know without meaning, rhyme or reason. Why is this group set up to be role models for our kids? Their producers would say that they are not role models and should not be looked upon as such. Well, what is their purpose? Why does it sell? Why is this program marketable and why do we continue to allow it to be?
There are many more programs that I found to be equally disturbing: “Sin City,” starring old ladies fighting. “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding,” starring middle aged and young travelers fighting about getting married with the most bling. “Bad Girls Club,” with women getting drunk and fighting to be the meanest girl on the block.
Fighting, drinking, having babies, living meaningless lives and encouraging others to do the same. Sounds like our world right now, doesn’t it?
How many times do we hear people say, “What is our world coming to?” How many times over the past year have watched in horror as victims fall prey to deranged, attention seeking sociopaths and we ask, “How could this happen?”
My question is, why do we wonder?
How many violent and promiscuous video games do we continue to purchase for our children? How often do we walk away from the television, leaving these young, impressionable minds to be permanently impressed by ugliness?
This year, I will make a commitment to myself for New Year’s Eve. It will involve sharing with others how we can and must make a difference in our own homes. I will continue to question myself and others regarding the meaning of the things we allow ourselves to absorb through television, movies, games, media and social networking.
Underage drinking, drug use and pregnancies should no longer be considered “the new normal.” They must be replaced with love, learning, appropriate play and yes, God.
I’m going to hold onto “Duck Dynasty,” though. I like that show. They work, love, laugh, teach their children good morals and pray before each meal. They are the good guys. And the good guys always win.
Happy, happy, happy New Year!